From the members post….
#1 – TOWER BRIDGE – 1 point win – 9/1 (Lad/Corl) 8/1 (bet365/others) (as of last night) 13/2 in places this morning
#2 – RAVENHILL – 1 point win – 11/1 (betfS/PP/BV/Unib)
Well if this horse doesn’t win a handicap chase off 141 at some point, something will be wrong. Of course it may well depend on when JP wants him to win, ahem, but alas I just couldn’t leave him here at 8s +, given his form/profile.
The first thing to say is that the market generally gets this race right… 21/22 renewals won but those sent off 12/1< … 20/22 Top 5 in the market at the off, 21/22 Top 7. Those sent off 14s+ are 1/182. Those stats would suggest that long term in this race we are best not trying to be too clever – and indeed there does look to be lots of deadwood in this, or in any case plenty with many questions to answer.
To Tower Bridge… there’s been a bit of rain I think and this could be testing enough, at what’s a fairly galloping track. He won’t have any problem with ground conditions and many of his runs scream that 3m could be the making of him over fences. Looking at his hurdles form… he’s a G1 winner, the only one in the race, and does have a touch of class. That win was at Leop in Feb 18 over 2m6f, staying on dourly there. He then ran 5th in that year’s Albert Bartlett before running 3rd at Aintree (G1), running on well enough with a few errors, beaten 7 1/2 L. Santini won that race, Rocksana 2nd.
Last Nov he started his Novice chasing career with a couple of quiet efforts on good ground. He then ran 2nd in a 17 runner beginners chase at Gowran over 20f, where he sat handy throughout, beaten by the subsequent Arkle winner (albeit maybe a poor renewal) but that race has produced plenty of winners, inc The Conditional behind him (poss his last run before moved to Bridgewater) There was also Burrows Saint, Carter McKay – indeed 11 subsequent winners have come out of that so far. He then ran in the Close Brothers, where I think I tipped him (another 2nd!). That was two starts ago. Obviously they all bumped into one there in A Plus Tard, but again he was outpaced but stayed on up the hill, pulling away from the rest.
He returned to action 15 days ago in a 19f 18 runner beginners chase – interesting that they returned to Naas I think, which is similar to Navan. He received an ‘interesting’ ride there – well one of those where the jockey moves their arms plenty but the horse doesn’t seem to go anywhere! I’m not sure he wanted him to be much closer but he may have needed it, and again stayed on/wants further. That form has some substance, won by Tornado Flyer on his return to action – he’s got some very good back-form.
Tower Bridge has run numerous RPRs in the 144-148 range and that coupled with all that form above makes me think, stepping back up to 3m (first run over 3 chasing) a mark of 141 should look lenient – one day. He has yet to win a chase but he’s put in a few fine efforts and he travels/jumps well – or has done for his last 3 races which i’ve watched back.
I just can’t leave him at 8s/9s given all of that – he just looks very interesting in this line up and if there’s one horse with a fair bit in hand, it could be him. Time will tell.
Pace wise.. he can sit close enough to the pace and hopefully he adopts a prominent position, provided he’s here to run his race. I can’t think he won’t be, it’s a nice pot to win.
If there’s any more i’ll confirm tomorrow – Ravenhill is obvious but if this is proper soft, that raises a big question for him given he’s never raced on it really. He can also be held up further back than ideal by maybe Russell with have other ideas. Some pondering to do.
It’s never a bad thing to have a Gordon Elliot inmate onside in a race like this, especially one he’s won four times, (albeit 0/11,0p last year). I suspect Davvy Russell had the choice of nearly all of his in this (bar JPs two) and hopefully that’s significant. I can only think this has been the plan. He arrives here with some of, if not the, best Irish handicap chase form in the line up – having stayed on well in the Galway Plate from a different county, and only losing out narrowly LTO where Denis O Reagan may have left him with too much to do/didn’t get after him quickly enough. A fellow progressive horse beat him there, the front two 4L clear of the rest and pulling away. He’s progressive and this is only his 6th chase start, his RPR LTO and TS figure were career bests and this mark should be within range. Interestingly the two times Davvy has ridden him (4/5,5p on him, 2/2 chasing) he’s been much more aggressive, having him handy. He seems to settle well enough and as such i’ve no idea why they would hold him up again, but we shall see. The only question and why I waited until this morning (to check the going/wanting 10s+) is the going – it was yielding LTO but I assume they’ve kept him away from proper soft for a reason. This is yielding/soft in places, with a dry day forecast apparently. So at a double figure price, given all the other positives, I’ll take the chance. He looks like a stayer and this CD should suit him. He travels well, generally jumps well and responds for pressure. IF he runs his race, he won’t be very far away at all in this line up.
Of the rest… well I won’t go through them all – there does seem to be plenty of horses in here with questions inc the Mullins mare, albeit it’s Mullins and she’s 16s – lightly raced but I wanted to see more, esp after a PU LTO. Such horses are 0/28,1p in this indicating it’s good to arrive having proved your well-being LTO but maybe she just didn’t get home.
I won’t be shocked if Chriss Dream or Discorama take this, given their form/profiles… CD has his first run back of the season but has won fresh before – I just wondered if his lack of big field chase exp/hncp exp may catch him out here, in the context of his price – in any case i preferred Tower Bridge, both with similar sorts of profiles but he’s achieved much more to date to my eyes and is more interesting/could have more in hand. But I can see the case. Discorama – he’s lightly raced also – Nolan is 0/15,1p the last 14 days, 1/58 at the track in last 5 years, 0/12,2p over fences, and a 5lb claimer riding, who’s ok- but still. I don’t think of Davvy R as stable jockey to Elliot and I do wonder if he’d have had the choice, given he rode him LTO – i’m no sure. In any case again, Tower Bridge just looked more interesting to my eyes of those three, and I hope he could have more in hand.
If something wins that I haven’t mentioned, so be it – I’ve been through them all and nothing at bigger prices stands out to my eyes, but maybe they’ll be a surprise in this. I couldn’t see it, but then my sight is a tad faulty at the moment.
PACE… I hope both mine are in the front 1/4 of the field ideally – they’ve both raced prominently enough over fences before and if you want to win/your horse can do it/settle, I never know why you’d be held up.
Best of luck, Josh